# frequency distribution

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## frequency distribution

[¦frē·kwən·sē ‚dis·trə′byü·shən]
(mathematics)
A function which measures the relative frequency or probability that a variable can take on a set of values.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Fig. 10 Frequency distribution.

## frequency distribution

the number of times each value of a variable occurs in a set of observations.

A frequency-distribution table is a simple way of representing sociological observations. It consists of at least two columns: the left-hand one contains the values which a variable may take, and the right-hand one contains the number of times each value occurs. An additional right-hand column can also be included to show the percentage distribution. In Fig. 10 the number of male and female respondents to a questionnaire are shown. see also BAR CHART. HISTOGRAM. PIE CHART, which can also be used to represent distributions.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

## Frequency Distribution

a set of the various numerical values of some quantitative characteristic of the members of a population where an indication is given of the frequency of each value—that is, the size of the corresponding group of these members is indicated. A frequency distribution expresses the result of the grouping of the members of the population with respect to a single quantitative characteristic. If the values are ordered, that is, arranged according to increasing or decreasing magnitude, then the frequency distribution is said to be ranked.

A distinction is made between discrete and interval frequency distributions. A discrete frequency distribution is based on a discontinuously varying grouping characteristic; an example is the distribution of workers with respect to the number of machine tools operated. An interval, or grouped (that is, reduced to groups), frequency distribution is based on a continuously varying characteristic; an example of this type is the distribution of a group of people with respect to age. Frequency distributions can also be grouped in the case of a discrete characteristic if the range of this characteristic is sufficiently great—for example, the distribution of urban communities with respect to the number of residents.

The intervals of the grouping characteristic may be equal or unequal. If unequal, they usually increase progressively; this case arises when qualitatively different types of phenomena are being singled out. The sizes of the groups formed are indicated in the frequency distribution by absolute numbers, or frequencies; by relative numbers, or relative frequencies, which are usually percentages of the total; or by both, in two parallel columns. The ratios of the frequencies or relative frequencies to the sizes of the corresponding intervals are called the distribution density.

The importance of frequency distributions in statistics is great. A well-constructed frequency distribution makes possible a detailed analysis of the structure of the population with respect to a given characteristic. Thus, the groups into which the population breaks down can be determined. In addition, the nature of the distribution of the members of the population with respect to the given characteristic can be ascertained—for example, whether the distribution is symmetric or asymmetric or what the degree of concentration of the members is. Finally, various statistics can be calculated, such as the range of the characteristic (the absolute difference between the maximum and the minimum value), the average value of the characteristic, the deviations from the average value, the degree of skewness of the frequency distribution, and the measure of kurtosis (the degree of closeness of a cluster of values of the characteristic around the average value). For easy comprehension, a frequency distribution can be represented graphically in a rectangular coordinate system in the form of a frequency polygon, histogram, cumulative frequency polygon, or ogive. Various combinations of frequency distributions for a population can be presented in the form of statistical tables.

I. G. VENETSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
However, a higher proportion of agencies answered that a fewer number of models were used to estimate reach and frequency distributions, and a higher proportion of respondents also indicated that they do not use any method for the same purposes compared to the results of the 1982 study.
Figure1a, b, c and d represented frequency distribution of Yalo and Jos parents.
The results of this research obtained through the decomposition of the frequency distribution curve of karst water conductivity suggest that the karst water sources in Houzhai karst basin are composed of three runoff components, including slope flow, rapid fracture flow, and slow fracture flow.
The ID genotype frequency distribution of soccer players was higher than that of runners and II genotype distribution was also lower.
Results of the CF calculations with different formulas for the consecutive frequency distribution is shown in Fig.
In environmental sciences, use of one kind of data from different sites to form homogeneous regions from these sites with respect to some common hydrological and geographical features and further to estimate the suitable frequency distribution of these homogenous regions gives shape to RFA (Hosking and Wallis, 1997).
To our knowledge, this is the first method of estimating how the frequency distribution of soft QCD particles inside individual events deviates from the expectation due to the nondeterministic nature of the underlying processes.
According to Ibanez and Cubillos (2007), for Chilean waters the ML frequency distribution observed in 2003 and 2004 showed differences between seasons and fishing areas (oceanic and coastal waters).
In that approach, one tries to fit two distributions: the severity distribution, which is derived from the amounts of all the losses experienced by the institution, and the frequency distribution, which is derived from the number of losses that have occurred at the institution over a predetermined time period (usually 1 year).
Since the frequency distributions of the global irradiance and the [k.sub.t] values are more reliable indicators for the applicability to simulations of photovoltaic systems, they are displayed in Figures 8, 9, 10, and 11.
An array of numbers that are the result of some computation algorithm can be analyzed by means of the frequency distribution *.

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